LAST EDITED ON 07-29-11 AT 02:49 PM (EST)
(The time switch threw me. And apparently got a lot of other people too, because this was the lowest-rated series VH1's had all year when it was on Sunday -- and that number nearly got cut in half for the first Wednesday airing. I'm not sure this thing's going to finish on cable.)
Rating the contestants on a 0-10 scale in two categories: Restaurant Factor (their chance of becoming the partner) and Redemption Factor (how well they're rehabilitating their image from prior media appearances).
Vincent: Fundraising by selling the old equipment: good idea. Doing so by standing around with a sign encouraging people to meet Big Pussy: possibly not the best tactic for that neighborhood. It's good to know that they're allowed to add into the budget and kudos for figuring out a method, but Vinnie really does need to update his tactics. (Going to Heidi for speed marketing advice... um...) Showing up and putting in his hours, but hasn't really had much to say and, as much as I hate to agree with Danielle, really does seem stuck a decade or two back. Or at least a series. It's hard to sell one role forever.
ResF: 3. At best, he's a figurehead partner who could be trotted out to meet guests and kept out of the way when necessary.
RedF: 5. A harder worker than he showed in his Apprentice run (although he's closer to his element here) and playing uncle to Ashley. Still gets into fights too much and starts as much as he responds. Danielle hasn't initiated everything -- believe it or not.
Ashley: Well, who can blame her for taking a couple of days off? (Other than the obvious.) How much time could you spend around Danielle before becoming worried about fatal dosages? Thoroughly abused by DJ (who at least admitted to it) and Danielle (who lied about it as if no one was ever going to see the footage) to the point where walking out was a reasonable response, not to mention one that wouldn't add in assault charges. Has ideas, but may never get some of them across due to the nature of half her audience. Should not have to put up with this crap.
ResF: 5. Would have to be educated on pretty much all aspects of running the place if she's expected to be an active partner, and the Dolces may not want to put in the effort. Still, she's capable of learning, and that puts her ahead of many.
RedF: 8. Will never completely shed the label as long as people stand ready to throw it in her face. Just might develop the maturity to walk away from them too.
DJ: Yeah, this is what everyone wants in their business partner: a hair-trigger temper from a potential abuser whose response to a woman telling him not to verbally abuse her is threatening to kill her via long fall to the street. Should I look up DJ's prison record? Because at this point, I'm pretty sure he's got one. When he's calm, he has a certain amount of charm. But we've seen the mask drop once -- and once is all it takes. Nothing he does from now on can ever put it back in place. Sure, he apologized. Yippee. Did it right on camera. One captured sorry. Way to spin -- out. Stay away.
ResF: 2. Is this the personality type you want associated with your establishment? As much to the point, how badly do you want to have an intense discussion with him about anything?
RedF: 0. All rappers are not thugs. But that doesn't mean none of them are.
JJ: Just -- there. Barely. Blends into the background until confessionals arrive, says a line or two, then turns invisible again.
ResF: 2. Comes with his partner.
RedF: 6. More of a stabilizer.
Jake: Hasn't quite become the reasonable one yet, but his XY bitch vs. Danielle's XX is interesting to watch. Yes, he's on a show where he can say someone else is making it all about them and mean it! -- but he would be the expert on that, wouldn't he? Has a point about leaders knowing when to follow, but he has the most business expertise of anyone in the room and he seems afraid to apply it. He reminds me of Piers The Snake in that Apprentice season -- wait for it to go wrong, then claim you could have done it better, and hope no one notices you didn't make a move to stop it. Surprising passive-aggressive streak, mostly with Danielle. Seems to have no idea how to really directly confront Scott or anyone else. (Hey, the designer our hosts recommended is creating difficulties, wasting the budget, and giving the cast additional problems to overcome! Go figure!) Oils his way around the floor.
ResF: 7. Could put a good 'face' on the business (so to speak) and knows enough about running things to make a contribution -- if he can stand to act.
RedF: 5. Comes across as being on the upslope for his occasional moments of insight and standing against Danielle -- but it's partially illusion.
Heidi: Getting it done. Found the right chef at the right salary (although personally, I would go to any place Brad was running just to have fun looking at and eating the results). Didn't kill Danielle after that appointment sabotage -- wait, that's not a positive... Knows enough about manipulating the editing that it's hard to trust her on camera, but she almost makes me want to believe her when she says she still has some pain from the surgery. Knew enough to get away from Danielle once the fangs came out. Becoming interesting to watch. And really should be on the menu team.
ResF: 8. Knows the most about the industry, even if she has trouble finding the words to describe that knowledge. As long as you can keep Spencer out of things, she could be effective -- but there's your problem. Still, the one to beat.
RedF: 8. Still ditzy and lacking in book smarts, but compare her appearance here to IAC. She's just about approaching likeable.
Danielle: Can interfere with everyone, but no one can interfere with her. Has no problems with open sabotage, concealed sabotage, admitted sabotage, and may be arranging to have the others killed right now: would you bet against it? Constantly on the attack, but no one is allowed to defend themselves. Hates the world and doesn't understand when the world returns the favor. Makes all her arguments based on 'I'm right, so shut up.' Is rapidly running out of people who will not try to punch her numbed face on first sight. Could easily overload the post text limit if I described every last thing she's done wrong since I started writing it. And finally explains why every last Bravo show has a fight scene, because clearly she's on all of them.
ResF: 0. Does not and will never understand that she is Cast To Lose in semi-human form. She was brought in to provide conflict and drama. And once the place opens, she'll be cut loose to prevent conflict and drama. No one could stand to work with her on anything -- and so no one will.
RedF: 0. You're kidding, right?